Current seams are created naturally by the obstruction of the water flow. Major structural elements in a river that create current breaks include points, wing dams, eddies, backwaters and deep holes. The diagram shows a cross section view of how current is diverted by a point extending into the main channel.
Obstructions such as points and humps have developed on the river bank or river bed that will cause the water flow to slower, creating a seam between the fast flowing current and the slower diverted water.
In most cases deeper holes are created on the back side of these obstructions creating Eddy’s [dead mostly slower water] the water is funneled from the tail of the Eddie towards its head creating a whirlpool effect. Current seams and particularly eddies can concentrate drifting food. Small forage fish will use the current seam to pick through the drift, in turn these current seams will also attract the trophy catfish as they feed on the forage fish.
Current speed will effect the way the seam develops on each break or structure, so the trick is to learn and understand when each spot (or spot within the spot) will be productive and when the fish will use them and only concentrate on these areas and fish these them during the correct water flow.
If the flow is to slow, the seams will just disappear and look nonexistent and therefore not very productive in low water times.
In a nutshell, understanding where the catfish hold at during the different water levels and current speeds on this particular seam will help you catch them. When the flow changes the catfish will change so you should too.
However setting up or anchoring on these current seams can sometimes be tricky, boat placement is crucial.
If you anchor too far out in the fast side of the seam, this will cause your bait presentation to drift further out into the main current away from the seam, and if you anchor too far in on the slower side of seam, (the Eddie) will cause your boat to spin in the whirlpool effect the eddy produces. There is a fine line between these two transitions, once you find your positioning you will drastically increase your chances of hooking into a trophy catfish.
CURRENT SEAMS AND SHORE FISHERMAN
Current seams and eddy’s are not limited to guys who only fish from a boat, bank anglers can also fish these types of spots as there are many different size current seams created naturally from river bank erosion. Small points and cut away banks all create a current seam even in small rivers and streams. Setting up on a point with moderate current flow and casting your rig out, allowing the current to sweep it into the seam is the same as anchoring a boat on it.
HERE IS A VIDEO ON HOW TO CATCH CATFISH ON CURRENT SEAMS:
ATTENTION ANGLERS: Here is a video of some safety tips and possible dangers of fishing current seams.